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Chelsea Dingman

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Chelsea Dingman is the author of Thaw (University of Georgia Press, 2017), which was selected by Allison Joseph as a winner of the National Poetry Series. She teaches at the University of South Florida and lives in Tampa, Florida.

by this poet


What does it mean to say we know the properties
of ice, of snow? The wheat berries piled in metal bins

in the silos. The house on a corner lot, properly
broken down, the septic tank leaking

into the closets for years, rats in the attic, box
upon box upon box of belongings that belong


Is this heaven? Hidden
highways. An avalanche. Nothing
around for miles to hear tires
leave the road. The mountains
bow, back-lit by white skies. I walk
& wonder if I walk for any reason
except to walk. My father,
drenched in drifting snow, was left
here. Yet I


Every minute or so, a hallelujah
dies in someone’s mouth. Every minute or so, a gunshot.
            A ceasefire. A tire shreds

                        on the highway, & pieces flit like sparrows
across the sky. Silly me. I thought